1. What does earning an ASHRAE certification involve?
Each ASHRAE certification program has its own eligibility criteria that consist of combinations of education and experience in the HVAC&R industry. To earn an ASHRAE certification, an individual must submit payment with a completed application indicating how he or she meets the eligibility criteria for a specific certification program and, if the application is approved, must pass an examination.
2. How do I obtain an application?
The application for each program is available on ASHRAE's website.
The application for a new ASHRAE certification program will be available several weeks in advance of that program's launch.
ASHRAE strongly encourages you to thoroughly review the Candidate Guidebook for the program in which you are interested before completing and submitting your application to participate in that program.
3. Where can I take an examination?
The first examination for each ASHRAE certification program will be administered in conjunction with either an ASHRAE Winter Conference or an ASHRAE Annual Conference and will be announced well in advance of that particular Conference. These first exams will be offered on pencil and paper.
Approximately six (6) weeks after the first exam administration, the exam for that program will be available only on computer at proctored testing centers through Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc. (AMP), ASHRAE's examination and analysis firm. AMP has approximately 300 testing centers in countries around the world. For a complete list of testing centers for all ASHRAE certification exams, go to http://online.goamp.com/CandidateHome/CandidateInformation.aspx.
4. How do I schedule an examination?
When a candidate's application is approved by ASHRAE, the candidate will receive an e-mail notification that includes directions on how to register for the examination, including the selection of an examination center, a date, and a time. (Many examination centers are open at least some weekday evenings and/or weekends.)
The candidate must register for and take the examination within 90 days after ASHRAE has notified him/her that the application has been approved. Failure to register for and take the examination within 90 days will result in the candidate's forfeiture of the payment.
5. What if I need to reschedule an examination? What if I never scheduled my examination?
With certain limitations, each candidate who provides notice at least two business days prior to the scheduled examination date will be able to reschedule a computer-based examination one time at no charge; additional reschedules will require payment of the full fee.
With certain limitations, each candidate who provides notice at least two business days prior to the deadline will be able to extend the 90-day deadline one time at no charge; additional extensions or any reschedules will require payment of the full fee. ASHRAE may extend a deadline up to 45 days.
For more details, refer to the program's Candidate Guidebook.
6. What is tested on the examination?
Each examination assesses mastery of a significant body of knowledge that has been identified by industry practitioners and subject matter experts as reflecting current best practices in that particular area. The detailed content outline for each program is included in the Candidate Guidebook for that program. This detailed content outline provides the task statements that the Examination will cover, as well as the number of examination items in each topic section. The Candidate Guidebook for each program is available on ASHRAE's website. You can get to information for each program by starting at www.ashrae.org/certification.
7. What is the format for the examination?
Each examination consists of 115 multiple-choice, single-correct-answer items, of which 100 will be graded. The additional 15 items are interspersed throughout the examination and are used for "pre-test" purposes; candidates do not know which items are scored and which are being pre-tested. The same 100 items are scored for all candidates who take the exam.
Candidates for the Healthcare Facility Design Professional (HFDP) have 2 hours in which to complete the examination.
Candidates for the Building Energy Assessment Professional (BEAP), Building Energy Modeling Professional (BEMP), Commissioning Process Management Professional (CPMP), High-Performance Building Design Professional (HBDP), and Operations & Performance Management Professional (OPMP) have 2.5 hours to complete the examination.
8. What score do I need to pass?
Certification exam passing scores are not published, primarily to avoid misunderstanding among examinees. The passing score can be different for different certification exams, but that doesn't mean one exam is more or less difficult, or more or less rigorous, than another, though it could lead to misunderstanding among examinees. Also, from form to form of the same certification exam, the passing score could change, depending on the difficulty of the questions on a particular form. Again, misunderstanding could result if examinees who took different forms compared results, and it turned out the result was different for candidates who even had the "same" score. Lastly, if the passing scores were published, then examinees who scored higher than others could infer that they are "more certified" or a more qualified practitioner than other examinees who passed with a lower score, when in fact ASHRAE certification exams are designed only to identify the minimum level of competence needed to perform critical job tasks, not degrees of competency. Therefore, to infer that someone who scored, for example, 10 points more on an exam is more qualified than someone who passed with a lower score would be an error.
9. What can I bring to the examination?
The only item that a candidate can bring into the examination room is a quiet non-programmable scientific calculator. The candidate must present the calculator at sign-in.
Candidates are prohibited from bringing into the examination room any notes, printed materials, paper, writing instruments, or electronic devices. The list of prohibited electronic devices includes, but is not limited to: cell or mobile phones; pagers; iPods; Blackberries, Palm Pilots, or other PDAs; scanners; and computers. The examination center will provide to each candidate scratch paper and pencils.
Any candidate found with any prohibited materials during the examination will have his/her examination taken away and the examination will not be graded. The candidate will also be subject to sanctions as determined by ASHRAE and Applied Measurement Professionals, Inc. (AMP), which is ASHRAE's examination and analysis firm.
10. What type of score will I receive?
Candidates will receive a score of "pass" or "fail"; candidates will not receive numerical scores.
11. What is the cost of the examination?
Each ASHRAE certification examination costs $295 for ASHRAE members and $415 for non-members. If an application is declined by ASHRAE or cancelled by the applicant, the amount of the fee, less $50 to cover administrative costs, will be refunded to the applicant.
12. What if I fail the examination? How often can I take it?
A candidate who fails the examination can re-take it, but must wait at least three (3) months before re-taking. There is no limit to the number of times a candidate can re-take an examination.
13. What is the cost and process for re-taking the examination?
The cost of the first re-take of an ASHRAE certification examination is $125 for ASHRAE members and $175 for non-members. Any additional re-takes of that program's examination will cost the full price of $295 for ASHRAE members and $415 for non-members.
To register for the first re-take, please send to email@example.com an e-mail that includes your name and the date that you took the examination the first time.
14. What is required to maintain my certification status?
Renewal requirements for ASHRAE certifications are posted at www.ashrae.org/certification.
The cost of renewing a certification is $125 for ASHRAE members and $195 for non-members, due at renewal time (once every three years).
15. For renewal purposes, can acceptable Professional Development Hours (PDHs) be earned only through ASHRAE activities?
PDHs can be earned in a wide variety of ways and not just through ASHRAE! Definitions of acceptable PDHs are as well applicable across all countries in which Certificants live. It is worth noting that many PDH activities that apply toward the PE or other license renewals may also be accepted toward ASHRAE certification renewal- though please keep in mind that for ASHRAE purposes, acceptable PDHs must be related to the certification field. Each certification program Candidate Guidebook contains information on acceptable methods of earning PDHs.
16. How will people know that I am an active certificant?
The name and location of each active certificant are posted on ASHRAE's website on the page of that particular certification program. The list is updated each month to reflect new certificants and/or those people who have allowed their certification to lapse.
In addition, ASHRAE encourages you to include your ASHRAE certification on your e-mail auto-signature, business cards, letterhead, and other "public" locations.
17. Is there a code of ethics required of ASHRAE certification earners?
All ASHRAE certification earners must agree to comply with and be governed by ASHRAE's Code of Ethics.
18. What if I have additional questions?
Many of your questions may be answered by information posted at www.ashrae.org/certification and the links therein and/or in the Candidate Guidebook for the program in which you are interested. However, if you have additional questions or if you need other information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond within two (2) workdays
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